They say that moving home is the 3rd most stressful event we will ever face in our lives. However, come December 23rd, many of us will have superseded this level and some. Whether it’s last minute presents, last years’ wrapping paper or that pitiful last turkey on the shelf, we all need help coping with a Christmas crisis.

Managing stress doesn’t have to involve floating in a bath of warm ink whilst summoning up a happy place. There are tried and tested methods that with the right approach can bring stress levels back to manageable. The stress inducers at Christmas tend to be quite shy over the rest of the year, but with the intensity and pressure the festive season brings, this few weeks can feel like a decade of pain.

Stress can cause major health problems both physically and emotionally, so it’s important to identify, confront and tackle it.

Start With Shopping

Over a third of people will take a sneaky day off work to tick off the items on that Christmas list. If, however, this isn’t possible then get online and snap up those Christmas bargains. With a whole host of comparison sites, voucher codes and neverending sales, your Christmas presents may just be wallet as well as shoe leather friendly.

Refereeing Rowdy Relatives

It’s inevitable that bringing together families, who may spend a lot of the year apart, will have it’s ups and downs but there are ways of managing this. Keeping Aunty Mabel away from the sherry isn’t always possible, but offering a well stocked bar to warring relatives prone to topple after a tipple or two, isn’t advisable either. Keeping the flow of booze staggered may just prevent the guests following suit. Drinking whilst eating and chatting is sensible and if needed, hide that booze!

Preparation, Preparation, Preparation

A lot of stress is derived from the fear of feeling out of control in a situation. As the days to Christmas get closer our feelings of ineptitude increase, causing stress to spiral out of control. For people already suffering from anxiety, coping with a Christmas crisis can seem utterly overwhelming.

The Priory encourage people to be prepared:

Allow yourself to take ‘time out’ if you find your stress levels rising. This could be a walk, going out for a coffee or listening to music – whatever will help you to relax or unwind. Saying ‘no’ can be difficult if you feel pressured to join in with family parties, however setting limits is important for your own wellbeing. Sometimes having a ‘script’ can be helpful -for example: ‘That sounds like a lot of fun, but I’m quite tired/not feeling 100% and would prefer to get an early night.’


Know Your Limits

Rather than freaking out about all the things that could go drastically wrong, it’s more productive to prepare for that scenario, and take steps to prevent the escalating stress associated with it. In my book A Stress free Christmas, there are plenty of stress prevention techniques which have been used and proven by the forward thinkers and top achievers in the world today.

a stress free christmas book title

The key word here is prevention! Coping with a Christmas crisis IS achievable if you take steps to cope with the related stress. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Keep your expectations realistic
  • Don’t compare with others
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff
  • Don’t assume the worst


If, after all the preparation and stress busting recitation the dog still steals the pigs in blankets, Aunty Mabel falls asleep in her dinner and you just can’t take another round of Fa la la la la – remember it’s only once a year!!

For more tips and ideas to combat stress visit my site-
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